Just Asking

Dry, by Augusten Burroughs, is by far my favorite. The sexy veneer of the advertising life is peeled back to reveal a cast and environment that are disappointingly, but not surprisingly, human. There is absolutely no nonsense about advertising defining culture and that sort of thing.

The Bible. No one really knows who wrote it. They give it away in hotel rooms with soap bars that don’t work. And most of all, it’s not copyrighted, so anyone can pull quotes out of it and spin them any way they want. I have to admit that I’m not a big “advertising book” fan, but my favorite advertising or communications book of all time is Marshall McLuhan’s The Medium Is the Message. A more recent one would be Paul Arden’s It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be.

I’ve thumbed through George Lois’ book, and I’ve had Where the Suckers Moon on my shelf for several years, but I’ve been warned not to read it. A funny book by Luke Sullivan is Hey Whipple, Squeeze This. It’s an irreverent guide to the business.About a month ago, I was clearing space on a shelf and came across When Advertising Tried Harder, a book about the classic ’60s campaigns for Avis, Levy’s and lots of the truly pioneering approaches that redefined the creative landscape.